The bush offers a lot during the wet green season

Everybody knows that the best season to travel Southern Africa is during the classic safari season, being between June and October. Right? For once everybody might be wrong! The region’s green season has a lot to offer…

Normally people prefer the dry season because they can see more animals and it is cooler. However, the other seven months of the year, the so-called green season, have a lot to offer, says Laura Waite from Ila Safari Lodge on the Kafue River in Zambia.

If you haven’t seen much of Africa’s majestic parks and you have a tick list of animals that you simply HAVE to see, then maybe the green season is not the right time for you. However, if you are one of the lucky ones that have explored the wilderness areas of southern Africa extensively and you keep on going back simply because you love the bush, then you should seriously consider going during the green season.

According to Laura there are many advantages of going during the green season:

  • Accommodation rates are cheaper.
  • The animals are still there; their movement are just less predictable as there is more water available in the bush.
  • You will get more rain as it is the rainy season, but it won’t rain for days on end. Between November and April clouds normally build up during the day and then afternoon showers mercifully cool down the hot days. A few thunder storms every now and then add to the excitement of the day….
  • After the dry season the veld is aching for relief and reacts to the grace of rain by rolling out the green carpet and exploding in budding trees and flowers.
  • There is nothing like the smell of the bush after rain…
  • Many animals respond to this wonderland by starting a new breeding season. You will experience a new cycle of life.
  • Resident birds are joined by their travelling mates. Bird numbers are pushed up significantly by these migrants and many will display their beautiful breeding plumage at this time of year.
  • Like the predators which have to work a bit harder for their meal, so you will also have to work a bit harder to see the animals. However, guides will be able to direct you to the hotspots, as they know the productive game viewing areas from experience.
  • One big upside of the green season is that you won’t have to fight for a space around the water hole as there are far less visitors.
  • Your photos will be vibrant with the bright green backdrop of the veld.

The bottom line is that the green season is in many ways the ideal time to visit the wilderness areas of southern Africa. It just depends on what you hope to experience…

Some of the wilderness areas in Southern Africa that are really worth visiting at this time of the year are:

South Africa:  Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (South Africa and Botswana) and Kruger National Park.

Namibia: Bwabwata and Etosha National Parks as well as Khaudum Game Reserve.

Zambia: Kafue, Liuwa Plains, Sioma Ngwezi, Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa National Parks.

Botswana: Central Kalahari GR, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Zimbabwe: Mana Pools, Hwange and Gonarezhou National Parks.

6 thoughts on “The bush offers a lot during the wet green season”

  1. I have been reading your blogs during the lockdown. This one in particular reminds me of some of the best trips we’ve had. Over December breaks. Kaokoland, Damaraland and the riverbeds from southern Kaokoland down, Botswana CKGR, Moremi and Chobe. Sure it gets a bit warm during the days but most cars have aircon nowadays. And if you park off under a shady tree and just take it easy the heat is really quite manageable. December 2019 in CKGR and Moremi all the pans had a green fuzz after the first rains, there were new-born animals of all varieties and the evenings were absolutely magnificent.

  2. We spent a month travelling Namibia in the ‘wet’ season and only had one day of rain which was in Waterburg. Every dry, dry, dry except the foggy west coast. Days were hot but nights always cooled off for a good nighrs sleep. Would do it again as everywhere was virtually empty of other people.

  3. I agree for more than 200 %. There is only 1 “but”. Keep very seriousley in mind that you will encounter wet roads and even deep mud. So don’t travel alone and be very well equiped with recovery gear.

    1. I agree Luc, that is why I would advise against visiting the Chobe/Moremi National Parks in Botswana and the Mamili NP in Namibia during the wet season.

  4. Right you are Karin. The bush can ‘explode’ to life after a thunderstorm. Added to that: I remember freezing nights in my tent in the Kgalagadi during July-August…;-)
    The advantage you mention – less overcrowded, so more bush for yourself and more accomodation options available, hence not having to make advance reservations – is not to be underestimated. For me somehow the fun is over when I have to book my whole trip in advance. The ‘life’ is out of it then.

Let us know about your experience